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  #1  
Old 08-11-2001, 02:53 PM
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Question Engine Belly Pan - 400E- Why?

Is the engine belly pan (plastic) there for air flow or just to keep oil from the driveway? I have replaced mine, but it's 6 bolts more to undo each oil change. Does it help or hinder engine cooling? Tks > BOBB
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2001, 03:11 PM
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First Iíd like to take a moment to thank you for your excellent work and photos on removing the rear door panel on yer 400. My 400 has something loose in the rr door and I was wondering what the task would be. But have only removed the front panel of another MB to cure rattling wood trim there.

Second, my recollection of the belly pan on the 400 is primarily to reduce noise. It also serves to streamline the air flow underside of the car a bit. From other comments, removing the belly pan will help increase air flow under the engine, and may serve to help cool an otherwise hot running engine.

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  #3  
Old 08-11-2001, 03:15 PM
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Hi bourman...

My '91 500 SEL has a a sump guard made from 1/2 inch boiler plate steel and my 300 CE has a guard doing the same job made from paper thin paper mache ! I am still not really sure what either is designed to do ?. . . . . . . .

what is does do however is that I need the top sider every time I need an oil change ( 3000 kms, oil and filter whether I need it or not ! .... )
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Old 08-11-2001, 04:03 PM
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Maybe cut a hand sized hole in the belly pan under the drain plug?
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2001, 04:50 PM
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JCE...great photos of your car. Do you have the M103 engine
( single cam, 2 valves per cylinder , ) as I do in my 300CE ?.... I bought my car last year and the previous owner installed a brand new 3.0 ltr M103 engine and transmission for me, I think I got lucky ! . . . . .

BTW, what size are the wheels and tyres on your your car. I have stock 15 " alloys but fancy a change ? . . . .

Look forward to hearing from you....

Andy . . . . .
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Old 08-11-2001, 05:11 PM
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It also keeps outs water and other dirt from the engine compartment.
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Old 08-11-2001, 05:12 PM
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i believe the undertray is there to streamline the underside of the car.

it also keeps the engine bay clean from mudsplashes coming from the front tires. Also has some noise insulating effects.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2001, 09:00 PM
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All the factory service manual says about the panel is that it was put there for improved aerodynamics. Nothing about any other functions. I'm thinking about taking mine off permanently at the next oilchanges. Perhaps it will facilitate better cooling when its off. The M103's run pretty hot in the 300E's, even more so compared to the M119' s in the 400E's. At least mine does.
F.J.
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81 300 SD grey/palomino 168K miles
84 190E 2.3 black/grey 64K miles (wrecked)
85 190E 2.3 maroon/palomino 92K miles
88 300E desert red/palomino 204k miles
(made to look like a '94-95)
92 400E desert taupe/creme beige 120K miles
(converted to 94-95 E420 looks)
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2001, 10:27 AM
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I believe the panel in question is officially called a "sound encapsulation panel." Looking at mine, it has suffered some damage over the years from steep driveways, but better the panel than the oil pan.

May I be so bold as to recommend to anyone tired of removing the panel for oil changes to consider getting a Topsider? MB has thoughtfully put the oil filter on top, so why complicate an otherwise straightforward oil change by doing the filter from above and the crankcase draining from below? MB has also designed every engine since the 1970's with topside oil drainage in mind . . .
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2001, 03:07 PM
MikeF
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OK, I'll bite. . .what's a topsider? Does it drain the pan as completely as via the drainplug?
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2001, 03:25 PM
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IMHO I believe that the Topsider-type devices remove more oil than draining. There are 2 reasons: one is that the drain plug is not absolutely flush with the bottom of the oil pan, so leave about 1/8 inch or more oil in the sump. This is outlined in a recent tech article in The Star magazine. The second reason is that the suction devices allow you to suck the oil out of the filter chamber, so more oil is remved in this fashion. I get quite a bit extra out of each of my engines this way (I have 3 different engines in my cars, so my opinions are not limited to experience w/ one motor)

Mr. Bible? I KNOW you want to take issue with this
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2001, 03:32 PM
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Michael,

What Star issue did you see that?

Thanks!~
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2001, 06:01 PM
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Talking

Oh no!
Another "Topsider to change the oil" string!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #14  
Old 08-19-2001, 10:39 PM
Southern_Son
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Not knowing for sure of the exact reason the plastic pan is there, I would have to fall back on rule number one for contemplation of removing parts from vehicle. If the manufacturer did not think the $.50 piece served a worthwhile function, you can bet the manufacturer would not have put the $.50 part on there.

reference the changing of oil top vs. bottom; I personally prefer the good stream effect (that I feel flushes the bottom of the pan with a good current or flow) that you get from the drain plug. Also, I have the vehicle tilted toward the plug during draining (some from rear wheels, others from front wheels). Also, I have found tell-tale signs of engine condition from draining at the plug: I once found a cotter pin from a connecting rod bolt on my airplane. I used a strainer to catch whatever comes out. Needless to say, I popped the cylinders off and put in the STAINLESS cotter pins that should have been there to begin with. On another occassion, I found a tooth from a sprocket in the oil of a M/B. FWIW.
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